Inland men win indoor event

2013-03-05 00:00

OVER 250 players and officials were involved in the three-day South African Interprovincial Indoor Hockey Tournament that ended over the weekend in Pietermaritzburg and there was joy for local fans who attended the matches at the St John’s and GHS indoor courts when the KZN Inland men’s team won the event for an unprecedented fourth time in succession.

“A big plus was the number of schoolchildren who came to watch and this bodes well for the future of hockey in Pietermaritzburg and, indeed, South Africa, with a host of PMB youngsters having gone on to win national colours at senior level in the indoor and outdoor forms of the game, and long may this continue,” KZN Inland Hockey executive member Janet Edwards told The Witness.

The Inland men were at ease in their semi-final against Western Province. However, due to a serious injury the match was halted for 35 minutes while Ayden Shrives was stretchered off and underwent cautionary scans.

He was later released from hospital, but could not play in the final against KZN Coastal Raiders.

It looked as if the Inland men were cruising to yet another gold medal with Gavin Jelley (tournament’s top goalscorer in the men’s section) and his team-mates scoring some phenomenal goals, but Coastal had other ideas.

Rohn Barron in the KZN Inland goals played magnificently, but succumbed to heat exhaustion. Ian Griffiths, his replacement, showed true grit and the Inland men survived numerous raids on their territory.

With 30 seconds to go and the score at 7 -6 in Inland’s favour, a penalty corner was awarded against the host team, but Inland held out and the siren sounded soon afterwards to give the Inland men yet another SA indoor hockey title and gold medal.

The playoff for third and fourth place between Western Province and Southern Gauteng went to the wire. At 2-2 at full-time, it was Western Province who won on the sudden-death rule to take the bronze medal.

The KZN Inland women’s A team were without their number one keeper who suffered a severe knee injury, so it was a hard task for Louise Janse van Rensburg to fill those boots.

Inland ladies lost their cross-pool playoff against Raiders and the classification match for third and fourth place to Namibia.

Southern Gauteng changed to top gear in the women’s final against Raiders and came away as reasonably comfortable winners. Pietie Coetzee was awarded player of the tournament and was also top goalscorer.

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